December 4, 2012
Liz published this at 7:25 am
How to Blog
7 Reasons No One Reads Your Company Blog (And What to Do About It)
Alright, maybe you’ve got a company blog. That’s great. With that, you’ve got a semi-casual avenue to “talk” to your customers, share news and comments about what’s going on, and provide some valuable or useful information while you’re at it. Maybe at some point, you’ve even realized that you can use it as a customer service platform by making it home to easily accessible FAQs – always useful, especially if you sell tech stuff not everyone is going to figure out quick.
So why isn’t anyone reading your blog and how can you remedy this problem?
Problem 1: You Bore People
Simply put, you’ve got nothing on your blog that people want to read. You don’t ask them questions, get them thinking, or engage their emotions. Your blog could contain the most useful information in the world, but it won’t do you any good if people fall asleep halfway through your first paragraph.
Solution: Spice Things up a Bit
Add pictures to give visual representations of what you’re talking about. Maybe toss in a relevant video or two. Engage people’s emotions and make them feel things other than boredom and crushing apathy! Give them something in the content to care about, rather than write like you’re slapping together a technical manual you know nobody is ever going to read.
Problem 2: It Looks Awful
Your site might be one of the ugliest things they’ve seen on the Internet. Okay, that is actually harder to pull off than it sounds, but that’s mainly due to the sheer density of the ugly, horrific things you can find if you bother to look.
Solution: A Makeover
First things first: get rid of the clutter. Remove any widgets or things that the blog doesn’t actually need, because they’re just taking up room and probably don’t fit in with the overall “look.” Go for simpler, less flashy colors, rather than the sparkle and glitter you’d expect from a teenager’s custom page. Rearrange things so there’s a lot less clutter and a lot cleaner in presentation. Too much going on at once makes a site ugly and really hard to navigate.
Problem 3: Your Site Is a Lifeless Husk
Is your blog relevant, or is most of the content consisting of nothing more than extinct posts that have no relevance whatsoever? Is all of it outdated information, serving as little more than a magnet for dust and an archive of long-forgotten notions and trends most people would rather forget ever happened?
Solution: Update Regularly
This is probably the single oldest piece of advice ever for people who have a blog, yet it is the one that is most likely for people to ignore. Keep the content fresh and relevant, and keep it coming at a regular pace. This doesn’t mean “update once every three months.” This means “update once a week or more, if you can manage.”
Problem 4: Your Prose Is Purple
“Purple prose” is a term used to describe written content that is long-winded for no real reason, often going into endless metaphors without really saying anything. This is good if you’re trying to write a terrible romance novel of some sort or if you’re emulating the popular writing style of certain historical periods. This is bad if what you’re trying to do is to get a point across.
Solution: Focus Your Content
Cut down on the metaphors and try to keep the content detailed, but without delv
Problem 5: Your Content Isn’t Dynamic
Words don’t always say it well enough.
Solution: Add images, graphics, visual representations.
Newspapers and magazines, despite being focused on content and words, words, words, also toss in pictures and graphs to break up the monotony. Pictures are great not only for putting a visual representation of what you’re saying, but also as an “opening paragraph” – every writer knows one of the hardest things to do is to hook people in from the get-go.
Problem 6: Way Too Much Advertising
A blog is not meant to be a platform for advertising and marketing. Yet, some people overload them with ads and marketing banners, with some instances of them using posts as nothing more than sales spiel. People will walk away if you think you’re trying to sell them something they don’t want. This is true even when they’re reading a corporate blog.
Solution: Trim the Ads
Cut down on the ads. What little ads you do keep, make sure they’re not placed in an in-your-face manner, but instead are off to the side where they don’t get in the way of the content or navigation.
Problem 7: You’re Just Not Relevant
In theory, you ought to know your audience best. You know what they want to see and what is critical to their mission. If you don’t know that, you really ought to reconsider your business plan, since you probably don’t know who you’re supposed to be selling to, either.
Solution: Be Relevant
You know your audience, which means that to some extent, you have some idea of what they don’t know. Give them that. Insight into unorthodox uses of their favorite product or little-known functions that might come in handy are possibilities.
Thank you, Tim, for adding insight to the conversation!
–ME “Liz” Strauss